DELANO, Calif. (KERO) — A local pastor is working to bring the community together, as they grieve over loved ones lost to violent crimes. And on Saturday, elected officials, family members, and even strangers, stood in solidarity during a special event to mourn.
Pastor David Vivas says, “one victim is too many,” as he fights to seek justice for victims lost to violent crimes in the City of Delano. And on Saturday, he organized a vigil for the community to let them know that they are not walking the journey of grief alone.
Vivas says, “Every morning I wake up wondering if I’ll ever get that phone call. That a suspect has been arrested. Every morning I wake up every morning with that hope.”
Vivas is talking about the suspect that opened fire on his late son, who was killed last January while at a vigil for one his friends who had recently passed away in a car accident.
“Never in my wildest nightmares did I ever think anything like this would ever happen. And when you get that knock on the door that doorbell at 4 a.m. Sadly it’s never good news.”
This is why Vivas organized a vigil on Saturday, to help families like his through their grieving process. Vivas says,“To let families who lost someone to a violent crime, to let them know they’re not forgotten. Because many of them feel forgotten.”
Here families and elected officials gathered to pray and raise awareness of the tragedies occurring in their neighborhood.Chief Navarez says, “ something with a conscious took your loved one. Something with the ability to choose took your loved one. Someone took something that you cherished.”Nevarez one of those speakers; wanting to reassure those families that they will continue their fight to seek justice.
Nevarez says, “Every day you wake up and you go to bed with this on your mind. And I’m sure you wonder, Does anybody else care? I am here to tell you that we care, the city cares, this police department cares, I care, my commanders care. my officers care.”
But Vivas says the police can only do so much when they have limited information.
Vivas says, “There is a vow of silence out on the streets, where people don’t talk.”
So vivas asks those people to come forward. “ I speak directly into the camera so they see a grieving father or mother. I am certain they watch these vigils. I still believe people have a conscious and somehow human compassion will come upon them and they will do the right thing.”
If anyone has any information on these violent crimes, this can be done anonymously. Any information that leads to an arrest and prosecution will have a reward of $3,000. To call the Kern County Secret Witness: (661) 322-4040.